To examine the effects of the tat and nef regulatory genes of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) on cell differentiation we used the mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC) as a model. Proliferation, embryoid bodies (EB) formation and subsequent differentiation into cardiomyocytes, glial and neuronal cells were investigated in ESC lines transfected with these genes. It has been shown that the transfection of ESC by the tat gene increased their proliferating activity, whereas the nef gene transfected ESC showed its decrease. The number of embryoid bodies formed was higher in the cultures of ESC transfected by the nef and lower in the cells transfected by the tat in comparison with controls. The percentage of embryoid bodies with contracting cardiomyocytes was higher against control in the nef transfected cells and lower in ESC transfected with the tat. There were no reliable differences in the appearance of glial cells between control and the nef and tat transfected cell lines. Spontaneous differentiation of ESC into neuronal cells was almost not observed in the nef transfected cells, in contrast to control and the tat transfected cells. However, addition of retinoic acid (RA) to the nef transfected cells caused even a slight increase in neuron formation as compared to control ESC treated with RA. Thus, for the first time we have shown that the tat and nef regulatory genes of HIV-1 had a visible effect on proliferation of ESC and some first steps of their differentiation. In general, the reverse correlation between the effects of these two viral genes on ESC proliferation and differentiation were observed.
Issn1550-9702 (Print) 1555-2810 (Electronic)
JournaltitleInternational Journal of Biomedical Science : IJBS